H-P's directors "hoped he would move on," one person familiar with the situation told
The Wall Street Journal
, adding that H-P's board prefers to focus on "protecting the brand and taking the higher ground," according to the report.
Hurd resigned late Friday after an ethics violation. Mike Holston, H-P's General Counsel, said the company had unearthed irregularities in payments made to a marketing contractor, as well as Hurd's expense reports.
"Mark had a close personal relationship with an H-P contractor that was hired by the office of the CEO," he said. "It was a systematic pattern of improper expenses and inaccurate reports."
H-P's investigation determined there was no violation of H-P's sexual harassment policy, but did find violations of H-P's standards of business conduct.
In a statement Friday, Hurd said he "realized there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at H-P and which have guided me throughout my career."
Hurd reached a private settlement with the contractor, Jodie Fisher, who said in a statement that she "never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship" with Hurd.
Shortly before his resignation, Hurd hired Sitrick & Co., a Los Angeles-based crisis communications firm that worked with former H-P Chairman Patricia Dunn, the
reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.
notes that Hurd left with a promise not to disparage H-P or "induce others" to do so,
ripped H-P's board for its handling of Hurd's resignation.
"In losing Mark Hurd, the H-P board failed to act in the best interest of H.P.'s employees, shareholders, customers and partners," Ellison wrote in an email to
The New York Times
, which posted excerpts of the email late Monday. "The H-P board admits that it fully investigated the sexual harassment claims against Mark and found them to be utterly false."
reports that Ellison, who is a friend of Hurd's, wasn't asked by Hurd to send the email nor did Hurd review it, citing a person familiar with the matter.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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